Friday, February 01, 2013

Copyright Law and J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings Slot Machines: Estate Heirs in Merchandising & Licensing Battles Cast Serious Doubts on Originalist Constitutional Doctrines

What is it that the U.S. Constitution in the Copyright Clause provides in Article I, Section 8, as a power of Congress?
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
We keep calling out to fervent Constitutional originalists such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to set this matter straight in the law and to point out as a Constitutional matter that the above clause says nothing about passing such exclusive rights on to the heirs for ANY period of time, much less 70 years, or otherwise using that Constitutional provision to act as a means of censorship with respect to what kinds of merchandising are permitted for copyrighted works by originally unintended monopolistic beneficiaries of a Constitutional provision of exception with respect to intellectual property rights.

Alas, our calls have thus far been in vain. JUSTICE SCALIA!!

Until Justice Scalia speaks up loudly and clearly in the tradition of Justice Thomas, who recently broke his silence of seven years to heap dishonor on his alma mater (better than nothing?), we shall have to endure a world in  which -- let us be frank -- it is far more important to INHERIT wealth and power, than to earn it by work. Well, that is the way the system is currently set up.

In this spirit, we refer to Wired's Underwire and Graeme McMillan's piece on

Tolkien's Estate Countersued in Legal Battle Over Lord of the Rings Slot Machines.

The "legal" issue here is licensing, but the practical issue is censorship.

Justice Scalia and originalist cohorts,
we have massive doubts that such was the intention of the Founders.

The Rule of Law says we must abide by the dictates of today on such matters, but "the rule of law" suggests that such should not be "the rule of law".

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